Can Desire 820 Survive HTC’s ‘Idiotic’ Strategy?


It is only very recently that HTC’s Desire series has become interesting. Otherwise it was all about One or Butterfly series. Actually, company forayed into Android world with Desire series, but after the inception of One series, it had lost its luster. First recent device to make a noticeable impression was Desire 816. It’s good that HTC is revamping its Desire lineup.

I will be talking about HTC Desire 820 dual SIM in this post. Desire 820 looks all but a replacement for Desire 816. Improved design, better processor, 4G LTE is what you’d expect from the newer phone. Desire 820 is available worldwide including North America. Actually it has a lot going for it to pose as a strong mid-range contender.  I’m just as curious as you to know if HTC has pulled this off smoothly.

Design:

Desire 820 looks a lot similar to Desire 816. Unlike 816, 820 features unibody design which uses polycarbonate as material. It’s thin but not to the extent you can’t hold it properly or can’t feel it in the pocket. And although it has a smooth back, it still has excellent grip for a phablet. HTC has managed keep bezels thin even with physical Android keys and stereo speakers on the front. There’s a blue strip running around the display which gives kind of dual tone look to the handset and that looks refreshing too instead of a monotonic boring phone. This strip is the result of HTC’s new design technique called ‘Dual Shot’.

HTC-Desire-820-Front

It has a protruding camera on the back which in my opinion HTC should have avoided and instead opted for something which mixes up with the body. Apart from camera and its LED flash and few logos, there is nothing else on the back.

HTC-Desire-820-Back

Since it’s an unibody design, all its card slots are accessible from the outside. On the left side, it has couple of nano SIM slots and a microSD slot covered under a flap. There are trays for placing your SIM cards but the fitment on Desire 820 was quite tight especially once you put your SIM card in one of the slots. Removing or inserting SIM cards was not easy as they would fit tightly in the slos and you’d need nails or something like that to pull out the trays. Looks like a compromise that comes with a slim design.

HTC-Desire-820-Top HTC-Desire-820-Bottom

HTC-Desire-820-Right HTC-Desire-820-Left

There are couple of sensors above the display but you’d need eagle eyes to spot them. MicroUSB port is on the bottom while 3.5mm audio jack is on the top along with a secondary mic. Volume rocker and power key are on the right and can be reached comfortably.

Hardware, Performance and Battery:

Desire 820 uses Snapdragon 615 SoC from Qualcomm, mated to 2GBs of RAM. It’s an OctaCore SoC and first one from Qualcomm. It’s somewhere between mid-high end. For those wondering, it uses big.LITTLE architecture from ARM instead of Qualcomm’s own Krait cores. Snapdragon 615 has eight Cortex A53 cores; four running at 1.7GHz and rest four running at 1.0GHz. Cortex A53 is essentially new generation low-mid range architecture. Consider it as a newer version of previous Coretx-A7.

As far as the performance is concerned, Desire 820 was quite smooth. Surely, it’s the optimized software too which makes it possible. Although the chipset inside is 64 bit one, the OS (KitKat) doesn’t have 64 bit support so it doesn’t get benefited from new chipset. Let’s keep in mind that it has to drive just 720p HD display which lets it move things quite easily.

I always liked the display panels HTC used on its phones. Although it uses LCD panels, those are the one of superb displays in the market with great contrast ratio. Desire 820 has S-LCD 2 display. Sunlight legibility wasn’t an issue either. Boomsound speakers were loud and clear too.

Desire 820 is powered by a 2600 mAh battery, same as Desire 816. But before I talk about battery performance let me tell you that my carrier’s network has gone from bad to worst which is affecting the battery life on my devices.  It was down from 100% to 27% in about 19 hours less 7 hours on standby which comes out to be just 12 hours. Having used HTC’s phone in the past, I can surely vouch for their battery performance. You can also enable CPU power conserving feature which caps the CPU performance while returning extended battery life. Even then it’ll perform quite smoothly unless you throw heavy tasks at it like games.

HTC-Desire-820-Benchmark-1 HTC-Desire-820-Benchmark-2 HTC-Desire-820-Benchmark-3

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About Swapneel Bandiwadekar

I'm into tech since 2006.You can find me on forums as @swap002. I also used to write reviews for Hindustan Times and been a member of pilot programs. Connect with me on Twitter or Google Plus.